SIP, 8-ID award cash assistance to former rebels
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (May 31) -- The Social Integration Program of the Arroyo administration awarded cash assistance to three former rebels from Leyte at the 8th Infantry Division camp this morning.
In simple ceremonies with Commanding General Arthur Tabaquero, three former male rebels named Gerald Perez, former member of Mt Amandawin Command who turned in one Browning Automatic Rifle got a hefty sum of P50,000.00.
Another rebel, Angelito Remojo who turned in one caliber 5.56 M 16 rifle also received fifty thousand grand.
Still another, albeit only ten thousand pesos was received by Francisco Teramo who turned in one caliber 30 M-2 carbine rifle.
The trio admitted having received cash awards earlier from Governor Jericho Petilla of Leyte, right after they surrendered.
Gerald, 27 who is from Ormoc City said that including the latest , his cash assistance has reached some Php 95,000. He told PIA he is tending a small business and he plans to use the money for additional capital.
He said he reached only grade 3 but can read or write. He was convinced to join the armed group because of false promises, he added he had armed encounters with the government soldiers in Ormoc and Villaba, Leyte. He stayed in the movement for five years and surrendered n 2008.
Angelito in his early 20's stayed only in the movement for three months and immediately gave up having experienced hardship like little food, "Waray sura." (trans: No fish nor meat to go with rice.)
It was peer pressure that led himto the lairs of the rebel group. Unlike Gerlad who can read and write the 'visitors pass' issued to PIA, Angelito claims, he can't read nor write and would just affix his thumbmark in documents. He aired his wish to become a member of the CAFGU.
Mano Francing, 66 was the most senior, he said he has lost track of the number of years he spent as an NPA asset who tips the rebels of the army's activities. He failed to tel PIA how he knew of the army's operations.
He also received the least amount- P 10,000.00 only. But like the two younger ones, he said Petilla (Leyte Governor) has been giving them cash assistance in the past. The three are from Leyte province.
Mgen Arthur Tabaquero in his message said he is always pleased with former rebels who are returning to the folds of government.
"Sa ating mga kapatid na muling yumakap sa ating demokrasayang pamahalaan, ito ang simula ng tunay na pagbabago at naway maging inspirasyon kayo sa ilan pa nating mga kababayan natin na nanatili pa ring bulag sa idelohyang patuloy na sumisikil sa kanila," he addressed them in Filipino. (PIA-Samar) [top]